According to the British Heart Foundation each of us has on average up to six regrets and spend roughly five days a year dwelling on them.
So what are the top 10 regrets?
1. Not travelling more and seeing more of the world.
2. Not keeping in touch with more friends from the past.
3. Taking too little exercise.
4. Not saving enough money.
5. Taking up smoking.
6. Not working harder at school.
7. Choice of career.
8. Wasting years with the wrong partner.
9. Eating unhealthy.
10. Not asking grandparents more about their lives before they died.
So thought it would be interesting to compare these with the work of Bronnie Ware, the Australian Palliative Care Nurse who explored the 5 regrets people most had before dying.
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself.
"This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it."
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
"This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
"Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result."
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
"Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying."
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again."
So what if instead of having these regrets you actually took steps to Live your life Awesome. Not just in one aspect, but in all facets of your life - how different could your life be from now?
What would be the first thing you would have to do to live your life this way? Could you just do it? What or who could help you? Remember like all journeys - this one too starts with one small step.
Maybe it's the biggest Christmas present you can give to yourself. Why wait to make a new years resolution when you could be doing it today? And remember it's your version of Live your life Awesome, not someone elses.
To make it easier for you:
Exceptionally awesome version of me!
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